Without a doubt, this was the most difficult Power Rankings I’ve had to complete. Considered foregoing it. I dropped teams with noteworthy showings (Colorado, Stanford), while others made huge jumps because – yanno – last week’s second through fifth ranked teams went a combined 0-6. Standard stuff. Begging the question: Is the Pac-12 full of parity or parody? The former would suggest that good teams are losing on the road to equally challenging opponents. The latter, however, suggests we’re in for a season of laughable outcomes, an opportunity to perhaps enjoy our Western anonymity.
But before you go diving onto the season’s panic button or attempt to rip your shirt off as you’re being escorted from the final minute of a rivalry game, remember that the Pac-12 is a historically difficult road game. Last season, home teams won 67% of the games – the third highest mark amongst conferences. This – my Utah and UCLA, friends – should have a calming affect. I think we can rest pretty well assured that this conference is full of champions! Parity.
As you gander this week’s Power Rankings, I encourage you to take your criticisms directly to me. Comment on Facebook, Tweet at me, or email – let’s talk it out. 2016: the year of the discussion.
From our annual family trip to Mexico, I’m noting a slimmed Power Rankings. It’s no fault of the conference – hell, we’re just a week removed from Cal nearly winning in Charlottesville (will someone draw a play up for Ivan Rabb, please?). But the WiFi is spotty and the number of beach-centric activities is overwhelming (recommendation: invest in a Spike Ball set). I can’t dive deep.
And this is the last Power Rankings before conference play begins. To date, the Power Rankings have been dictated by a team’s most recent performance and other qualifiers. The equation looks something like this:
Makes sense, right?
Anyhow, I’m going to include, (parenthetically), where I really think a team will finish with some justification. The parentheticals are different than our preseason rankings because we can now judge about 13 games of action. For example: George King, Cuonzo Martin, Jordan McLaughlin, Chris Boucher, Thomas Welsh, etc. We know things.
Power Rankings and Happy New Year:
1. Arizona (1)
There were stories written that Larry Krystkowiak had initially declined ESPN’s invitation to play Duke. He didn’t want to fly his team cross country with Christmas fast approaching. But he changed his mind, made a business trip out of it, and put the nation on high alert that there’s a new Coach K in town. Not really. But his team did beat the other K’s blue team and now a Merry Christmas to all.
As the year winds down, let’s take note of the Pac-12 kill list: Kentucky, Duke, UNLV, Gonzaga, Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M, Monmouth. The collective winning has been fantastic with two big opportunities remaining in 2015 (Virginia and Oklahoma, tonight). But you know this. You’re a Pac-12 basketball fan. Steve Harvey (for SEO purposes).
Let me begin by noting that this is far from scientific. In the future, I would like to expand on this data. There would probably be a lot of ways to examine it and no doubt some very interesting findings. But for the time being I had this small sample set (everyone loves to make decisions based on small sample sets, right?) and I thought I’d publish some of it.
Taking more shots at the rim would yield an improved offensive efficiency (Ortg). Continue reading
The beauty of this podcast is its real human element. There are some admissions of our own faults this week and a rich family history from Spencer. Of course the meat-and-potatoes of this pod centers around Pac-12 basketball and our day trip to the Cal-Saint Mary’s game.
While you’re listening this week, if you have the mobile phone dexterity, give us an iTunes review if you don’t mind. And if you’re curious about podcasts and why these sorts of questions are requested of you, here’s a breakdown from Vox.
Opened up my tee-shirt drawer the other day. In there I spotted my favorite and slipped it on. Didn’t matter the tattered fabric or faded images, the arm pits’ hue at least suggesting a semblance of hygiene. I like my favorite shirt because it takes care of my essential: makes me happy, is reliably comfortable, and can get me where I need to be (grocery store, Laundromat, gym, warmly into bed) in my own aesthetic. The shirt knows what’s up.
And so I ask: What’s up with Brandon Taylor? Continue reading
I maybe could’ve skipped this week’s Power Rankings considering the release of the Independence Day: Resurgence trailer. But that felt disrespectful during the biggest week for Star Wars nerds since they played the extended trailer during that awful Monday Night football game (I tuned in). Speaking of big weeks, the Pac-12 was supposed to have one! Turns out they had a couple of really impressive halves:
- Winning in Kansas City (Go Beavs!)
- Down one in Lexington (Go Devils!)
- Up double digits at home against Saint Mary’s (Go Bears!)
Well the Beavers and Devils would lose by double figures and Cal needed a late three to beat the Gael’s at home. Oregon took a road loss (but outscored the Broncos in the second half!) and Utah’s return trip to Wichita wasn’t victorious (led for all of 28-seconds). Meanwhile the Bruins continue to win the tougher parts of their schedule (Got them Zags!). The weekend wasn’t quite this:
But you could still feel like this:
We thought – since we like getting together to watch hoops – that we’d record what that sounds like. Consequently, Spencer and I have a preference to watch Arizona basketball games and if you were ever curious – for any reason at all – what it’s like to watch a game with us, here’s your chance.
What game should we watch-pod next? Was this a worthwhile task? Would you rate our podcast?
If you missed Spencer, this week he’s back. In our conversation he laments not being in attendance but recognizes that the show had to go on. He also recognizes that he didn’t see UCLA-Kentucky in its entirety and that no one really understands the Gonzaga-Arizona game. There’s an awkward moment when discussing Sonny Dykes and how many jobs his name was floated around. Spencer also throws out the words “All,” “American,” “Bryce,” and “Alford.” Listen for more.
Also, if you’re so inclined, give us an iTunes review.
UCLA achieved 7 points in less than 3 minutes (took them 20+ last year) and they trickled the floor at Pauley as they should have. Teams don’t often knock off the #1 team in the country and – for a school oft criticized for its fan base – it was good to see them celebrate a little and show up. Meanwhile, ASU knocked off a top-25 team (rare) and did it in their new gold attire which I actually thought was sharp (also, rare). Of course for a full run down and the teams ranked by order of power, as well as what I did on Friday night of this bounce back week for the Pac…